MONCKS CORNER -- Berkeley County sheriff's deputies took the chief of Bonneau's police department to family court Wednesday and held him there until he came up with over $15,000 in overdue child support.
Judge Wayne Creech found Chief Franco Fuda in contempt of court and gave him the chance to pay what he owed to an ex-wife in Illinois before sending him to Berkeley County Detention Center, according to court documents.
Fuda paid the money, plus $150 for the expense of prosecuting the case, and was released without jail time.
Georgia Shobe, who practices family law in Berkeley County, said Creech handled Fuda's case exactly as he would any other defendant's, civilian or not.
"That would in fact be exactly how Judge Creech would handle someone who owes $15,000 who's gainfully employed," Shobe said.
Shobe said that some defendants have been given until the end of a week to make an overdue payment, and the contempt-of-court order was standard procedure.
According to court records, Fuda kept up with his $275 per-month child support payments from December 1992, when his wife gained custody of their infant son in their divorce, until January 2004, when his payments became more sporadic. In June 2006, Fuda stopped paying altogether for at least three years, records state.
On July 7 of this year, Berkeley County Clerk of Court Mary Brown sent a memo to Bonneau's payroll department ordering that Fuda's wages be withheld to pay his arrears.